The Girl Who…

Last night, I went to see The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. My thoughts? A decent movie overall. Not amazing, but then again, I find that always happens when I’ve read the book. The movie stayed pretty much true to the story, but I must say the character of Lisbeth Salander doesn’t come across as complex onscreen as she does in print. There were certain instances during the movie when the audience actually laughed at something she said, and let me tell you, I had no inclination to laugh while reading. My take on Salander is that she doesn’t have a sense of humor; everything she says is exactly how she means it. She doesn’t do irony or sarcasm.

My friend enjoyed the movie. She quizzed me about what happens to Salander since she knows I’ve read the second book and am halfway through The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. I gave her a few hints, but no way would I tell her the whole story. It’s so much better to read it for yourself. On that note, I should get back to it. I read recently that Stieg Larsson had intended to write ten books about Salander and Blomkvist. Obviously, that won’t happen since Larsson died before the first three were even published. I wonder if the third book ends on a cliffhanger or if there is some resolution. I also wonder what Larsson would think about the popularity of his books…

Decisions, decisions…

So I finished reading Book 7 of The Walking Dead (hardcover edition) and that brings me to the end of issue 84. All I can say is, “Oh my god. CARL!!!” (I’m totally not giving away what happens here; just that something happens.)

What an intense read. Those last 20 pages or so… Wow. You think everything is relatively calm since the group has found safety in an inhabited gated community, but you just know something bad is coming.

I noticed that the six-issue trade paperback, which contains issues 85-90, came out on December 27. I’m so tempted to buy it, but that goes against my collecting the 12-issue hardcover editions.

And now I’m debating whether to begin reading the new Stephen King book, 11/22/63, which is about a man who goes back in time to stop the assassination of JFK, or start The Girl Who Played with Fire. I know that I will not be able to put either of them down once I begin, and all chores will be avoided.

Buffy Season 9

Buffy Season 9 has been out since September, and while my plan was to wait until Dark Horse published the trade paperback, I couldn’t stop myself from buying the first single issue last week. (I really did go to Silver Snail to buy presents for Trevor!)

Anyway, it was great! Like I mentioned in a previous post, I almost gave up on Buffy Season 8 as I felt the story had gone totally off the rails, but Whedon managed to reign it back in with the last two issues, and I’m happy to see that Season 9 begins in the same vein.

And here’s a little Buffy cross-stitch I did for a friend’s Christmas present. I can’t take credit for the pattern, though; this genius belongs to weelittlestitches.

The Marriage Plot

I’m currently reading a hardcover edition of Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom. I’m enjoying the story, but finding it’s not one of those books that I’m dying to get back to every time I put it down. On the other hand, I started The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides (on my Kobo on the subway as I headed to CBC) and cannot put it down. Well, except to write this short entry.


The Marriage Plot involves a romantic triangle among three college students. Madeleine is an ambitious English major studying semiotics. Mitchell is a religious scholar from Detroit who travels to India to work with Mother Teresa; and Leonard is a brilliant philosophy student and a manic-depressive. All three are about to graduate from Brown University in 1982.

The problem is that I should be finishing Freedom because it’s due at the library tomorrow, but Eugenides has me hooked.


Oh, what a neglectful blog writer I’ve been… Work ramped up (from three different directions!) and this blog was the first hobby to go. Bad Tara!

Anyway, just wanted to say I flew through The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo last week. A totally addictive read. I now understand what everyone was talking about. Must get my hands on the next couple of books. Lots of dialogue, little extraneous description. And the character of Salander is enticing. Razor sharp, aloof, sensitive, cold, downright lethal at times. I’m excited to see how she’s portrayed in the film version.

Also read The Privileges. Set in New York, and centred on a couple who marry and have children young, it explores the lifestyle of the privileged. How much money is enough? What are you willing to do to ensure your family has the best of everything? What does that last sentence even mean?

And now I will finally get to Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. It’s been a long-time coming.

Walking Dead Book 7

Wow. I totally missed the publication of the new Walking Dead Book 7 hardcover edition on October 18! And I had only been waiting to get my hands on it for a whole year.

That’s it. Book-buying ban 2011 is officially over. Well, just in this one case.

I wish I could get this excited about the TV show…


I’ve been on a big bio kick this past week:

I’m more of a fiction gal, but had decided earlier this year that I would try to match every fiction book I read with a non-fiction book. I finished Mindy Kaling’s, and loved it. Such an easy, fun read. If you’re even a somewhat fan of The Office, pick it up.

I’m halfway through the Gloria Steinem bio and just started Bossypants on my Kobo. The Steinem bio is not a fun, easy read like Kaling’s, which is fine. It’s not supposed to be. And the title hits home; I feel like I’m the one getting an education.

I had wanted to read more about Steinem after listening to an interview with her on CBC. I had always known she was instrumental in the feminist movement, but didn’t actually know much about her. Listening to her speak with such eloquence and intelligence, it made me wonder, why the heck didn’t I know more about her. Why had her name never come up in junior high or high school?

The more I continue to read about Steinem’s life, and all the women around her, the more cheated I feel.

The Big Short

I’m halfway through The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, by Michael Lewis. It’s a non-ficton book examining the events that led up to the 2008 U.S. stock market crash. It’s been a bit of a learning curve as I have no background in feeder markets, credit default swaps, bond and real-estate derivative markets, sub-prime mortgages, etc. It was slow-going at first while I tried to wrap my head around all the new (to me, at least) terms and concepts.

The thing I like about this book is that the author writes it as a character-driven narrative; he doesn’t throw a bunch of facts at you. He weaves them in while describing the people behind-the-scenes, what they were doing and thinking, how they were reacting.

It’s a fascinating, unbelievable read. I need to finish the last 150 pages tonight; it was due at the library today!

Second Helpings

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Megan McCafferty’s Jessica Darling series is one of the best YA series out there.

Instead of reading Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, I opted to revisit my favourite YA protagonist in Second Helpings. Jessica Darling is just so smart and scathing and sarcastic and sentimental and needy… I can’t help but love her. Since it was the 10th anniversary of the first book, Sloppy Firsts, back in September, I knew I’d be re-reading the rest of the series sometime soon. I couldn’t have picked a better time; I was getting burned out by all the sprawling family drama novels.

I just wish the covers of this series were different. I think they make the books look like light chick lit reads, and they’re anything but.

Father of the Rain

Lily King’s newest book, Father of the Rain, was difficult to read at times. You’re introduced to the narrator, Daley, as she and her father drive home in the car with a brand-new puppy, a present for her 11th birthday. Daley is only pretending to be happy as she’s keeping a huge secret from her father–she and her mom are moving out of the house the next day and dad has no idea. Basically, the rest of the book explores Daley’s volatile relationship with her prejudiced, high-functioning alcoholic father through her teen years and into her adult life.

I don’t normally seek out books like this one to read. Honestly, they make me sad. You see what a horrible man her father is, how he treats his children, and then you see how charismatic and loving he can be. You get that little glimmer of hope that yes, he can change, and he does for a while, then he relapses and is worse than ever. And through it all is the child/adult’s conflicted, never-ending love.

I take full responsibility for choosing this book. No one recommended it. It was the little blurb by Booklist that caught my eye:

“A riveting portrait of a father so spectacularly dysfunctional that he rivals Alfred Lambert in Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections… Readers will be thoroughly taken by King’s exceptionally fluid prose and razor-sharp depiction of the East Coast country-club set.”

I read The Corrections and liked it, and the line about the “East Coast country-club set” intrigued me, so I picked up the book. While not my favourite type of read, I must say that King’s writing is pointed, fluid, and affecting. She packs a punch with just a sentence or two.

Next up, Man in the Woods, by Scott Spencer.